Credit card scams
The most important thing is that you are avoiding credit card scams in your applications. Scammers are always adopting new methods of tricking people into giving over sensitive information, but there’s plenty of proactive steps you can take to avoid this.
First, always be suspicious of links, in unsolicited emails and on webpages. Even if everything looks official, it’s best to type the name of the card issuer into your browser to access the website directly.
When you’re looking at a card issuer’s website, be wary of sites ending in .net or .org – these are not usually used by genuine credit card issuers. Also, look out for the ’s’ in ‘https://’, and a padlock or unbroken key symbol next to the website’s URL at the top of the screen. Both of these things signify that the website is probably secure. It’s also worth clicking other pages on the site to check they all work, and that there aren’t spelling and grammar mistakes.
You should also search for reviews on your card issuer, particularly if you have never heard of them and you have any doubts.
Picking the right credit card for you
The right card for you depends on your credit score, your financial situation, and your lifestyle. Credit cards have a number of uses, such as building your credit score, being used abroad, spreading costs, or getting rewards. It’s best to know exactly what you’re going to be using your card for.
You should have a pretty good idea of what your credit score is to know what type of cards to target. Remember, if you discover that you have a poor credit score, the rates you’re eyeing up may actually be lower once they’re offered to you. Using prequalification offers or eligibility checkers will give you a clear idea of the sort of cards you’ll probably be approved for, saving you time and disappointment in the long run.
Once you know the type of card you’re looking for, investigate your options thoroughly, checking not just the basic rates and terms, but individual features also.
The investigation and comparison process should not be rushed because once you’ve officially applied for a credit card, your credit score takes a hit, so it’s important that you’re happy with the offer and that you’re likely to be approved.
If you’re using an authentic credit card issuer on a reliable site, and you’ve found a card that suits you, then you should click that apply button and enjoy your new credit card.